As of early 2017, there’s a vast difference between the way individual businesses are reaching their customers and clients. Some still have outdated websites and no social media presence, while others are investing thousands per month on quality content and new media. Of course, this all depends on your business, its brand and your audience, but it’s safe to say there are some pretty damn exciting opportunities for content creation and storytelling right now. Here are a few of the most important, and why you should care.
Facebook Instant Articles
What is it: Facebook Instant Articles are a way to turn your content into instant, media-rich experiences for the reader. The user experiences rich media with autoplaying ads, expandable photos and interactive maps.
Canvas articles must be posted primarily to the Facebook platform and also hosted on your website, giving you an external link as well as the ability to embed cookies and track user analytics. You can monetise articles directly and keep 100% of revenue generated from ads you sell as well as producing branded content.
Why it’s exciting: We’re all busy. If you make it easier for people to open, read and share your content, you stand a very good chance of reaching more people. The richer your content, the more it will be brought alive by Instant Articles.
Where you can read more: Head on over to the Facebook Instant Articles website to transform your content.
What is it: Similar to Instant Articles, but instead a creative storytelling avenue designed directly for brands on the Facebook mobile platform. By clicking on an advertisement users open up an immersive world where they can swipe, zoom and tilt to discover autoplay video and images, leading to a strong call of action. Content loads up to 10x faster than normal.
Why it’s exciting: People love stories. People love immersive experiences. People love sharing cool stuff online. Combine the three and you’re onto a winner. Plus, Canvas allows you to create what is essentially a microsite at the price of a regular newsfeed ad.
This has huge potential for sharing travel, historical and tourism experiences as well as products that have a little more depth or detail to them. Horizontal timelines and journey paths work really well across multiple images.
Where you can read more: Visit the Facebook Canvas page to get started with your own interactive storytelling.
What is it: Google’s new learning system which helps to recognise patterns and refine the search algorithm in response to unknown data. What does that mean? If Google hasn’t seen a search query before, RankBrain can theoretically apply a set of rules in order to put forward the most relevant search results for that user intent.
This can be particularly useful for voice search through Siri, Cortana, Alexa and Google. Voice search is rapidly increasing in popularity and with that comes highly specific user intent relating to location and other information that comes from the device itself.
Why it’s exciting: Long tail search terms are likely to become more powerful. By clearly answering your customer’s questions in your content, you improve your chances for ranking well. Location-specific content is also probably a good investment. All up, more focus on addressing user intent means that quality content is more important than ever.
Where you can read more: Take a look at this SearchMetrics article on RankBrain.
What it is: Retargeting is nothing new, but it is getting more accessible and accurate. You embed a cookie on a visitor’s browser when they visit your website, which then allows you to track and display ‘reminder’ advertising to the user as they peruse the internet. Chances are, you’ve already been retargeted yourself. It’s the equivalent of saying, “Are you REALLY sure you don’t want that shirt?”
There are number of platforms available, including through Facebook Pixel, LinkedIn and Twitter.
Why it’s exciting: Retargeting enables you to set very specific rules for reaching out to those who have already visited your digital presence. You can refine the frequency, length and content of your retargeting campaigns, even offering special deals or including USPs that set you apart from your competitor.
You can also retarget lists for search ads, meaning you can serve up specific AdWords search ad campaigns to people who have visited your site or specific pages. This is very handy to recapture someone who might be close to making a decision and needs a little nudge.
Where you can read more: Take a look through HubSpot’s guide to retargeting for the basics.
Need content created for any of these opportunities? Get in touch.